“From time to time, older folks from the village were invited to share folk tales with the students”
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Nov. 7: Amid the trend of young minds from remote villages coming to towns and cities like Kohima and Dimapur for better education, a school in Phek district has caught the attention of many by imparting skill-based training in indigenous Naga artistry. Meaning, children in primary school can make bamboo baskets and weave colourful shawls.
Located about 13 km from Chozuba town, the New Creation School in Sekrüzu, in Phek district, makes learning more interesting and innovative for students by introducing them to extracurricular activities such as folk songs, handicraft, tailoring, weaving, stitching and gardening besides academic courses.
The school is run by Rev. Veküso Swüro and spouse Vesalü Swüro, who are from a theological background. The reverend is the chairman of the school while his wife is the headmistress. Since its inception in 2013, the school has swelled in its strength; it currently has 230 students. 12 teachers teach in the school, which provides education from class A to VII.
Veküso Swüro, who was born and brought up in one of the most remote villages in Tizu area of Phek district, told Eastern Mirror that he felt the “grave” need for growth and empowerment in this region particularly in Sekrüzu block.
“We our heart ached on seeing our block being deprived of privileges in all aspects. We have to begin from the grass-root level. We just cannot live in towns and cities pretending that our people back home are fine,” said Swüro.
“Initially, we lack basic amenities such as water, electricity, and networks, but gradually things got better,” he added.
Besides teaching traditional Naga artistry like weaving shawls and making household items with bamboo, the school also imparts lessons in folklores to the students.
“From time to time, older folks from the village were invited to share traditional stories with the students,” he said.
The school looks into the spiritual needs of the students by conducting prayer service twice a day and making them memorise a scripture passage on a daily basis. Swüro said that Vacation Bible School is conducted annually with an aim to not only teach academic education to students but also to teach them to know God personally.
Students are also taught to give back to nature and find ways to protect it. Hunting and shooting of wildlife animal in and around the school is prohibited. The students find their respective ways of caring nature and environment around them.
Speaking about the challenges, Swüro said that they were completely disconnected from others for the first few years as there was no network (telephone). He went on to say that people initially doubted them when they took up the new venture by “voluntarily leaving the ministry they had served for a long time” but managed to gain their confidence after the school project flourished. In fact, people came forward and contributed towards the school.
“Thankfully by the grace of God, students are happy, and becoming smarter, active, and competitive,” he said, adding that parents are satisfied with the education system.
“We are getting lots of support and encouragement from the people around us in many ways, the school project is a faith venture,” he concluded.
The success story of the school has spread far and wide with people from the neighbouring villages, and places as far as Phek, Chozuba, and Dimapur sending their children to study in the institution. Hostel facility with reasonable fee is made available for those from far off places.